Certification Standards for Speech-Language Pathology Frequently Asked Questions: Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship (CF)
2005 SLP Certification Standards
When can the CF be started?
The CF (also called the SLPCF) can be initiated once all graduate academic course work and graduate clinical practicum requirements for certification have been completed.
What are the CF requirements?
The CF must consist of the equivalent of 36 weeks of full-time (35 hours per week) clinical practice. Clinical fellows have 48 months from the date of initiation of the CF in which to accumulate 1,260 hours of experience. The CF experience must be comprised of direct patient/client contact, consultations, record keeping, and administrative duties relevant to a valid program of clinical work.
Can the clinical fellow work less than 35 hours per week?
Yes, but if less than full-time employment is used for the CF, the length of the CF must be extended. Professional experience of less than 5 hours per week is not accepted toward meeting the CF requirements.
If the clinical fellow works more than 35 hours per week, can those additional hours shorten the length of the CF?
No. Experience of more than 35 hours per week cannot be used to shorten the CF to less than 36 weeks.
The standards use the term "mentoring SLP" rather than supervisor. Is this person one and the same?
They may be, but not necessarily. While an employment supervisor is not required to hold current ASHA certification, the mentoring SLP must hold certification during the period of time she or he serves as the CF mentor. The mentor will work with the fellow to establish outcomes and performance levels to be achieved during the CF, and will provide guidance throughout the experience. It will be the mentoring SLP's responsibility to engage in periodic assessments of performance, and to evaluate progress toward meeting the established goals and achievement of clinical skills necessary for independent practice. One means of assessment that must be used is the SLPCF Report and Rating form [PDF] that will be submitted to the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) at the conclusion of the CF experience.
How much observation/supervision is required during the CF experience?
There must be no fewer than 18 hours of on-site observation of the clinical fellow providing clinical services throughout the CF experience. Additionally, at least 18 other monitoring activities must occur during the experience. The mentoring SLP will use these observations to assess performance and evaluate progress toward achieving the skills necessary for independent practice.
How will the mentor and clinical fellow use the SLPCF Report and Rating form?
During each third of the CF experience, the fellow and mentor will have a formal meeting where they will discuss the fellow's performance on the skills listed in the Clinical Fellowship Skills Inventory form. These ratings will be transferred to the SLPCF Report and Rating form [PDF] and both the fellow and mentor will sign the form. This meeting will also be an opportunity for a discussion of areas of concerns or to highlight accomplishments of the clinical fellow.
At the conclusion of the experience, the mentor and clinical fellow will complete and submit the completed SLPCF Report and Rating form to the CFCC. In the final segment of the experience, ratings of "3" or above in the core skills must have been achieved in order for the experience to be accepted. If there are core skills that are not judged to be acceptable, the fellow and mentor should work out an arrangement where additional work can be performed in those areas. Once successfully completed, the additional work must be submitted via a follow-up SLPCF Report and Rating form that has been signed by both the mentoring SLP and the clinical fellow.
Can I wait until I complete my CF experience to apply for ASHA certification?
At the present time you can, but this may change. You are strongly encouraged to check the ASHA website for any changes in requirements prior to starting your CF.
Can CF mentors/supervisors accept payment for the supervision they provide?
It is the interpretation of the CFCC that clinical fellowship mentors/supervisors should not accept compensation for supervision or mentorship from the clinical fellow being mentored or supervised, beyond reasonable reimbursement for direct expenses. If reimbursement is anticipated, acceptable direct expenses should be specifically delineated prior to the start of the CF experience. If the clinical fellow and mentor work for the same employer or institution, the CFCC expects that there would be no remuneration.